Monday, August 21, 2017

Planning and Writing an IEP Part 1

Writing that very first IEP out of college can be a very overwhelming task! My college program prepared me very little for this task, and it doesn't help that there are so many different IEP programs and formats used by schools. Regardless, no matter what school or district you teach in, all IEPs are required by IDEA to have all of the same components. 

I have broken this post down into two parts. In this post, part 1, I will walk you through the steps of best practices for prepping and planning for your IEP meeting. Next week I will post Part 2, which will walk you through the steps of writing a good IEP. 

The first thing you need to do is get a copy of your students' IEPs, familiarize yourself with them, and use my example below to make yourself an IEP calendar. Include when their annual IEP review date is due AND if their 3 year evaluation is due. If their 3-year evaluation is due, you'll want to try to coordinate this with your school psychologist so you can schedule it for the same day. Place this by your desk or somewhere you can readily access it.
You can download a blank template here.

Scheduling IEP meetings can be a daunting task. You have to have a GE teacher present, and an LEA/principal, and depending upon your circumstances and students, you may have to include the nurse, an O.T., a P.T., an A.P.E. Teacher and an S.L.P. Get with your team and find out when is the best time everyone is available. For instance, my SLP is only on my campus on Tues. and Wed. For this reason, I know if I need her to attend, I must schedule the meeting on one of those two days. We have found that scheduling meetings before school in the mornings has worked best for us. Some participants may even need to participate via phone.

Stay on top of your IEP calendar. Four weeks prior to an IEP due date, contact the parents/guardians to schedule the IEP. Contact them by phone and agree on a good day and time that will work for everyone that will be in attendance. If you cannot reach them by phone, send a note home. If they can't meet with you for lack of transportation, suggest a phone meeting. If an eval is also due, coordinate with your school psychologist. Be sure to status your contact with the parent in the status record.


Once you've agreed on a time, type up two Prior Written Notices and two Meeting Notices using the dates you will send them. One will be sent the day of or day after you spoke with them. The other one should be sent a couple of weeks later or a day or two before the meeting. It's just easier to create them both at once while you're in your IEP program. Make a copy of the notices to file in the student's confidential folder and status in status record. Make additional meeting notices to place in the mailboxes of the other attendees, or you may choose to email them instead.

After scheduling your meeting with the parents/guardians, begin assessing your student to get their present levels that will be inputted into the IEP. Assess them in the subject areas that they receive services in. If possible, ask your student what their interests and hobbies are. You will need this info when writing the IEP.

Now it's time to write the IEP. Stay tuned next week for part 2 of this post, where I will walk you through the steps to writing a good IEP. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies Link Up

Welcome to SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies!! Every Sunday I host this freebie link up here on my blog for Special Education Teachers! Visit every week to download free resources for your classroom! If this is your first time visiting, you can access all of the freebies from previous link ups by clicking on "SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies" under "My Files" on my right sidebar. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you're a TPT seller, blogger, or resource creator, I invite you to link up and share your own freebie(s) using the link up tool below! 


Link Up Rules

1. All resources must be FREE! It can be free for the day, but please delete your link once you mark it back to paid.
2. You may link up 1-3 freebies.
3. Your freebie can link to your blog or store.
4. Freebie does not have to be related specifically to SPED, but should be practical for SPED.
5. If you are linking up from your blog, using this image in your post and linking back to my blog is not required, but is greatly appreciated! 

6. Share this image on your social media so others can enjoy all of these freebies!
*I recommend using an image of your freebie & not your button when linking up. 

 Feel free to share the image above all over your social media to let other teachers know about these freebies! 

The link up tool will close on Saturday each week, but "forever" freebies will remain accessible! Come back every Sunday to link up or download new freebies!


Sunday, August 13, 2017

SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies Link Up

Welcome to SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies!! Every Sunday I host this freebie link up here on my blog for Special Education Teachers! Visit every week to download free resources for your classroom! If this is your first time visiting, you can access all of the freebies from previous link ups by clicking on "SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies" under "My Files" on my right sidebar. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you're a TPT seller, blogger, or resource creator, I invite you to link up and share your own freebie(s) using the link up tool below! 


Link Up Rules

1. All resources must be FREE! It can be free for the day, but please delete your link once you mark it back to paid.
2. You may link up 1-3 freebies.
3. Your freebie can link to your blog or store.
4. Freebie does not have to be related specifically to SPED, but should be practical for SPED.
5. If you are linking up from your blog, using this image in your post and linking back to my blog is not required, but is greatly appreciated! 

6. Share this image on your social media so others can enjoy all of these freebies!
*I recommend using an image of your freebie & not your button when linking up. 

 Feel free to share the image above all over your social media to let other teachers know about these freebies! 

The link up tool will close on Saturday each week, but "forever" freebies will remain accessible! Come back every Sunday to link up or download new freebies!


Sunday, August 6, 2017

SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies Is Back!

Welcome back to SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies!! We took June and July off for summer break, but now we are back from summer vacation! Every Sunday I host this freebie link up here on my blog for Special Education Teachers! Visit every week to download free resources for your classroom! If this is your first time visiting, you can access all of the freebies from previous link ups by clicking on "SPEDtacular Sunday Freebies" under "My Files" on my right sidebar. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you're a TPT seller, blogger, or resource creator, I invite you to link up and share your own freebie(s) using the link up tool below! 


Link Up Rules

1. All resources must be FREE! It can be free for the day, but please delete your link once you mark it back to paid.
2. You may link up 1-3 freebies.
3. Your freebie can link to your blog or store.
4. Freebie does not have to be related specifically to SPED, but should be practical for SPED.
5. If you are linking up from your blog, using this image in your post and linking back to my blog is not required, but is greatly appreciated! 

6. Share this image on your social media so others can enjoy all of these freebies!
*I recommend using an image of your freebie & not your button when linking up. 

 Feel free to share the image above all over your social media to let other teachers know about these freebies! 

The link up tool will close on Saturday each week, but "forever" freebies will remain accessible! Come back every Sunday to link up or download new freebies!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Intermediate SPED Scope & Sequence {with clickable links}

I'm sharing my Special Education Scope & Sequence with you today! This began as a work in progress last school year, and is still a work in progress, but is a fairly accurate outline of when and what I'll be teaching this upcoming school year. It is an intermediate scope designed for students in grades 3-5. 

I've also included clickable links, where applicable, for you to easily retrieve or look up the resource(s) that I'm using.




 To elaborate on each section...


Holidays/Themes
These are nice reminders of what holidays and celebrations are coming up for the month to keep me on my toes and ensure I don't forget anything. 

My scope & sequence is broken down into 4 main blocks.

1. Reading/Comprehension 
2. Writing/Grammar 
3. Math 
4. Health/Social Studies/Science/Social Skills 

Reading/Comprehension (centers)
Reading instruction is done in centers. Your reading and phonics programs will vary depending upon your availability of resources and your students. So for this reason, I did not include clickable links here. Here are some of the reading programs that I love and use with my students and new this upcoming year, I will be using the "Wilson Reading System" with several of my students. I've heard lots of great things about it and I love that it is designed for grades 2-12. Other programs I use and recommend are:



Writing/Grammar (whole group)
My writing instruction is done in whole group. Writing is my favorite subject to teach, so it comes naturally, but I also use the "Step up to Writing" model. I love that this system uses a stoplight method and color codes writing, making it SO easy to teach anyone to be a good writer. I've used this program for over 10 years and have had a lot of success with it! It's fabulous for special education!


Another resource I use for my beginning and struggling writers that I forgot to link are these writing frames

As for grammar, I pull from here and there and also love Steck-Vaughn's Language series. It looks like they may have changed the cover since I purchased mine, but the link above is the link for these workbooks.
I'm also currently working on grammar task boxes that will be posted in my store hopefully by the end of this week!

Math (centers)
Math instruction is done in centers. Many of my students take the alternate assessment, and my state provides NV Academic Content Connectors for these students that are linked to the Academic Content Standards. My math scope is based off of the third grade NV connectors. I also throw in lots of opportunities for life skills math like money, which is not included in these connectors and I believe is such an important life skill for our students. 

Health/S.S./Science/Social Skills (whole group)
These subjects are taught in whole group and are rotated each day/week/month. So for instance, I may teach Science on week 1 and 2, Health on week 3, and Social Skills on Week 4. Then, the next month, I'll hit Social Studies. I typically do a social skills lesson at least one day a week though. This is also the block we squeeze in cooking activities. These subjects all share this block. I've made most all of these links clickable for you to go right to the resource that I use. 

For Social Studies I began using Cara Carroll's first grade S.S. curriculum last year and found it to be a perfect fit for my students that are in grades 3-5. 

I used Tara West's Firstie Science Curriculum last year and also found it to be a perfect fit for my 3-5 kiddos. And it's super easy to adapt and modify for those needing a little more challenge or even less of a challenge. And of course we are obsessed with science experiments, so we also make time to squeeze in fun science experiments in between.

This year I'll be using Tara West's Social Skills program. It looks fabulous, is low prep, and targets 75 different social skills that I'll use in the order as I see fit. Again, although designed for kinder and 1st, it's perfect for my 3-5 self-contained students that are mostly working at this level. 

Also, for social skills, every Friday we do what I call "Group Games." This is where we play structured games together like kickball, Mother May I, etc. to learn how to interact, take turns, good sportsmanship, and how to follow the rules of a game. We rotate indoor games with outdoor games every other week. 

Also, at the end of every day we have 20-30 minutes of free social time before going home. 

Special Activities
These are just special activities I like to do every year and to keep me on track. Last year, we totally spaced making our tie-die t-shirts for field day until it was too late and I was bummed! Now that I've added this section to my scope, hopefully this won't happen again!

Life Skills you ask? Life skills are integrated throughout with our S.S., social skills lessons, class jobs, morning work/meeting, cooking lessons, etc. I currently have one student that is on a functional curriculum and his scope and sequence does look a little different. That is still a work in progress, but I use "A Work in Progress" and "FISH" as a guideline. I am hoping to finalize a scope & sequence for this area in the near future.

Hopefully this scope and sequence will fit the needs of your students and ease your planning this upcoming school year. You can download the version with clickable links here or a blank editable version here.

Want to save this for later?? Pin it here!